A Word About Lent

The name Lent derives from the Old English word for spring, Lencten.

The forty days before Easter are known as Lent. It’s a time when some people give up something they enjoy, such as chocolate or alcohol.

March 7th (2011)
Collop Monday. A day for using up meat before Lent. (A collop is a slice of meat or bread).

March 8th (2011)
Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Day. A time for using up foodstuffs forbidden during Lent, notably eggs and milk. Hence the tradition of making pancakes.

Shrovetide – Saturday, Sunday and Monday preceding Lent.

Shrove Tuesday

Pit pat the pan’s hot
And I be come a-shroving,
Cast the net before the ash,
Something is better nor nothing.
A piece of bread, a piece of cheese,
A piece of Apple dumpling;
Up with the kettle and down with the pan,
Give me a penny, and I’ll be gone!
Give me another for my little brother,
And we’ll run home to father and mother.

A thundery Shrove Tuesday means a year of crops and plenty, but lots of wind.


Shrove Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday
When Jack went to plough,
His mother made pancakes, she didn’t know how,
She tipped them, she tossed them,
She made them so black,
She put so much pepper she poisoned poor Jack.

Please I’ve come a-shroving
For a piece of pancake or a little yuckle of cheese
Of your own making.
If you don’t give me some, if you don’t give me none,
I’ll rattle your door and away I’ll run.

Ash Wednesday

This falls on 9th March this year. It is the first day of Lent, and can fall on any date between 4th February and 10th March. It takes its name from the custom of making a cross on the forehead of church goers on this day, a reminder that “dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return” (according to Genesis 3:19).

“Where the wind is on Ash Wednesday, it will stay all Lent.”

The marble season starts today and lasts through until Good Friday.